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Australia Proposes Change in Tobacco Packaging to Deter Smokers

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Australia Proposes Change in Tobacco Packaging to Deter Smokers

Australian government officials are considering turning to plain packaging for tobacco products, a move the industry opposes. New Zealand is considering following in its neighbor's footsteps.

Tobacco giants Philip Morris, Imperial Tobacco and British American Tobacco Australia all oppose the change, as they claim it will ruin their trademarks and violates a slew of international trade laws, The Herald Sun reported.

"Plain packaging has not been introduced in any country in the world and there is no evidence to support the government's claim that this will reduce smoking," Imperial Tobacco said in a statement, the source noted.

Other considerations officials are making include placing graphic images of eye cancer, children hospitalized from secondhand smoke and a mouth rotted after years of smoking on the packages. Critics claim none of these efforts will work to deter smokers, however.

"After all, the absence of attractive packaging has sadly done nothing to reduce consumer demand for … illegal drugs," The Australian reported. "The responsibility for personal behavior, be it drug taking, snacking on junk food, couch-warming, drinking into a stupor or driving like a maniac rests with individuals."